Hitting 19,000L with robots at Holstein Premier Herd Open Day

More than 450 people descended on Boclair Holsteins for the Holstein UK Premier Herd Open Day earlier this summer.

The event, hosted by Holstein UK in conjunction with the Holstein Scotland Open Day, gave visitors a fabulous opportunity to view this fantastic herd, which was crowned winner of the Premier Pedigree Herd Competition in 2017.

Boclair herd

The Brewster brothers, David and John, farm the Boclair herd which is situated in Bearsden, a few miles outside of Glasgow.

The family business extends to 850ac, with 450ac being arable. The aim is to make three cuts of good quality silage, whilst also feeding homegrown cereals.

At present, 200 cows are milked at Boclair, with an annual rolling average of 13,500L at 3.67% butterfat and 3.21% protein. The calving index currently runs at 404 days.

The family is also proud to have over 150 cows classified VG or EX within the herd.

Cows are housed all year round and milked through four Lely robots.

The Lely robots were installed just over two years ago and have taken the herd to a new level of production, with heifers now giving up to 15,500L and some cows exceeding 19,000L.

The herd is also a prime example of the effective use of sexed semen, with 75-100 surplus heifers sold each year.

David and John have recently made a significant investment into the 30-year-old cowshed improving cow comfort and their environment.

Attention to detail has always been a focus, as high yielding cows require substantial and careful management.

The brothers strongly believe that taking a proactive approach to herd performance, including striving to prevent issues such as mastitis and lameness, is vital in achieving optimal health and production.

Stockjudging

As visitors arrived, they had the opportunity to enter a stock judging competition, which was run as a club fundraiser for Holstein Scotland.

Before the stock judging commenced, Holstein UK chairman, Andrew Birkle, welcomed visitors to Boclair on behalf of the Society, commenting on the exceptional quality of the cows he had the privilege to judge the previous year.

David Brewster also extended a warm welcome, explaining how much winning the award meant to the family and, finally, Robbie Duncan, Chairman of Holstein Scotland, introduced the stock judging.

There were four categories to enter for those taking part in the stock judging, including under 14, under 26, ladies and open, and entrants were required to judge six classes of cattle.

The club had a fantastic uptake, with a total of 262 people taking part, whilst Club member David Gray presided as master judge.

Adam Montgomerie won the under 14 age category, whilst Sophie Lee took first place in the under 26 group. Elaine Butterfield was crowned winner amongst the ladies, whilst David Booth came out on top in the open category.